It’s safe to say we are all in need of a little self-care right now, whether lockdown worries have triggered sleepless nights, days cooped up with children have left you shattered, or self-isolation simply has you feeling relentlessly bored.
So, what can you do come Friday night, while total freedom is still on hold? An at-home spa absolutely gets our vote.
You might not be able to escape to a real-life retreat any time soon but, armed with the right pampering kit, you can certainly transform a corner of your home into a makeshift spa, indulging in DIY facials, skin-softening soaks, and a blissful night’s sleep.
Here, see our all-encompassing guide to creating the ultimate at home spa experience, from setting the scene right through to the products and tools that’ll rival a trip to the facialist.
1 Light a scented candle
The entrance of a spa always smells delicious – not overwhelming (if they’ve done it correctly) but just enough scent in the air to trigger a feeling of calm.
At home, lighting a candle (or spritzing a room spray) is the quickest way to help you slip into a more serene state of mind. Pick one from a brand with roots in aromatherapy, and you’re sure to find success. If you’re feeling emotional, opt for centering notes of cedarwood or sandalwood to help restore balance. Struggling to drift off at night? Studies have found lavender to help bring on faster, deeper sleep. And for pure luxury appeal, a rose-scented candle never goes amiss.
The Ritual of Sakura Scented Candle
Lavender And Vetivert Candle
Real Luxury Standard Scented Candle
2. Set the mood with music
Background music is important. Silence can invite your brain to fill itself with cluttered thoughts – but you don’t want anything too overpowering. Finding the perfect spa playlist needn’t be laborious, however: simply head to Spotify or Youtube, where you’ll find plenty of ready-made lists to tune out to.
3. Quieten your mind
To keep the room you’re in as peaceful as possible, it’s best to begin unwinding with a herbal tea – or even glass of fizz – in a different room before you start. Sit for half an hour, or however long you feel you need, without your phone and just begin to release and relax. You could even give a meditation app (we love Headspace) a go. Once you feel calmer, enter your designated spa area.
4. Upgrade your bath
Of course, all good at-home spa sessions should involve a long, hot soak – whether you choose to dive into a good book or simply lie still and submerged for a while.
When it comes to taking your bath from everyday to exceptional, options abound. Epsom-based bath salts, rich in magnesium, are ideal for treating sore muscles and setting you up for a great night’s sleep, while a fragrant bubble bath offers both pampering appeal and calming benefits (Clarins makes a perfect one). For skin that feels softer and more supple after your soak, choose a luxurious bath oil, and for rough heels and scaly elbows, a body scrub, like Nuxe‘s cult hero, makes a stellar add-on.
Perfect Legs 100% Natural Scrub
1000 Grain Body Exfoliator
Westlab Sleep Bathing Salts
Don’t have a bath? You needn’t miss out. Try placing a few drops of essential oil into the base of your shower cubicle before you step in: the steam will send the aroma into the air. Even better, Aromatherapy Associate‘s deeply nourishing shower oils will ensure your skin feels moisturised straight out of the shower: simply apply the oil of your choice to skin before stepping in.
Aromatherapy Associates Relax Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil (55ml)
100% Organic Essential Oil – Grapefruit
Scent To Make You Happy Essential Oil Blend
Relax Bath and Shower Concentrate
5. Indulge in a facial
A proper at-home facial will likely form the centrepiece of your spa session, and today’s best skincare treats offer pampering and performance in one.
A fragrant balm cleanser will melt away stresses as well as it will oil and grime, while a gentle exfoliator will ensure your skin is squeaky-clean and prepped for the main event: your face mask.
For dry skin, opt for a creamy face mask rich in hydrating extracts, be it classic shea butter, natural plant oils or moisture-magnet hyaluronic acid. If the hours inside have left your skin feeling dull, consider Nuxe‘s gel-textured exfoliating mask. To decongest, a charcoal-steeped sheet mask will do the trick perfectly. And for serious salon-standard results, look to Beauty Pie‘s most recent innovation: an oxygenating face mask inspired by professional treatments, which brings a healthy radiance straight back to the most stressed-out skin.
Oxygen Instant Facial Refuelling Mask
Stress Relief Detox Oil Mask
6. Master facial massage
If you’re looking to tackle a specific skin concern, it might be time to explore the wealth of at-home facial tools and skin-tech gadgets currently lining the (virtual) shelves. A jade roller feels heavenly when rolled over your face oil of choice (especially when fresh from the fridge), while Sarah Chapman’s genius (if slightly scary-looking) massage device is designed to mimic the lifting powers of her signature kneading facial massage. Simply roll it from your chin to your cheekbones to ease away tension and encourage lymphatic drainage.
For serious facialist points, invest in an LED-powered face device. Previously only available in salons, these clever tools use shades of light – red light to increase collagen production, blue to kill bacteria – to tackle specific concerns. They’re undoubtedly an investment, but the results really are remarkable.
UFO Smart Mask LED Treatment
Rose Quartz Facial Roller
7. Treat your hair
It’s safe to say we’re all dreaming of the day we’ll be reunited with our hairdressers right now. While we can’t cover those roots or trim those splitting ends (please, step away from the kitchen scissors), a deep-conditioning mask will make your hair feel in top condition until the salon doors finally reopen. Slather it on while you’re waiting for your face mask to work, or leave it to sink in overnight for maximum swish the next morning.
Botanicals Lavender Fine Hair Mask
Frangipani Monoi Hair and Scalp Mask
Argan Oil of Morocco Mask
8. Moisturise properly
Finally, all good spa sessions should end with phenomenally soft and hydrated skin. Today’s most mega hydrators come loaded with added benefits, too: Neom’s chamomile-laced body lotion contains magnesium to help you drift into a deeper, longer sleep, while a body oil from the likes of Aurelia Probiotic Skincare will help you feel calm and grounded as you drift off for what might just be the best night’s sleep you’ve had this year.
Bedtime Hero Magnesium Body Butter
Firm & Revitalise Dry Body Oil
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